Posts

Understanding Blockchain : The theory and the threats

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In this post I'll break down some key aspects of what makes a blockchain, blocky and chainy. I'll also break out some ideas I have on what threatens block chain applications in design an implementation potentially speaking.

What is the blockchain? Blockchain applications essentially provides a means to orchestrate transactions based on something called a "state-machine" that propagates and maintains global addressable list of all transactions ever.  Essentially folks needed a way for all agreements of a given theme based on the value of something to follow a strict grammar and language i.e. based on principles that "this thing" must appear before "this thing" rules that follow this format are great for language based machines like state machines. After all we designed computers and all formal definitions so far on these properties, they are such powerful means of scrying computation out of nature we are applying them to quantum bodies in profound…

On Forced Open Sourcing of End of Life Software

Recently I heard of a regulation France introduced (or was proposing be introduced internationally at least) in order to force companies developing closed source applications to open source them once end of life is declared for the software. And again I shall state this is almost purely in an effort to be fair to the users of the software. Why is this "fair"? What does it reflect about the rest of the life of the software? i.e. What is the impact on the non-end of life- life of the software and the user?

If it is fair to force declaration of the source code because the users are no longer supported with updates and maintenance of the software. Then this means it is recognized that forcing users to use software that doesn't remain in appreciation of their security needs is seen here as ethically wrong. In essence we recognize here that users cannot be held captive by software they are not allowed to understand or change by the imposition of the company that owns the soft…

On the ontological duality of Software and Hardware II : and What it means for Open Source.

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Folks in France had the brilliant idea of requiring software companies to hand over source code for software they have ended support for. Obviously this is done in an effort to protect the users who suffer from needing to use their software. But of course this means much much more for the future of software, and highlights a key insight the French have on the reality of software and how it actually affects society.


Why does Source code matter? Because its all source code!
Computer Scientists have since before the existence of computers argued the break in ontological duality of hardware and software (most recently I think JH Moore's "Three Myths of Computer Science" being the last major blow to it from a philosophical stand point). Essentially they've been screaming at us that there is no difference between hardware and software - no means to actually differentiate them according to the ontological realities. And whats more because of the advent of quantum computing…

[Android Security] Attacking the Android Package Manager from the past.

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Hi folks, here's a quick post about something I see very often in android application code. Something that could have pretty devastating effects if taken too lightly. Something that I believe is known about in some Android development circles but according to some of the things I've seen in apps - it doesn't seem this abuse of the PackageManager is as widely understood as it should be.  So in the following post I'm going to lay out a small trust problem folks seem to miss when dealing with Intents and the PackgeManager on Android.

So here's whats up...
When developing applications for Android you often want to take advantage of other applications and services available on the hosting system. For instance you might want to develop an app that opens Google Maps on a given set of co-ordinates , or perhaps opens a browser on a given page. Of course this is very common, its even common to host applications that forward potentially sensitive information to other applica…

(Philosophy) Towards argumentative proof of hyper-dimensional consciousness

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"Hyper dimensional consciousness" is effectively an idea I like to think about from time to time as an answer to a question I think is sometimes in some folks minds:

What if nature and the universe is actually a massive intelligent being that I am part of?  Could this be in some way true? 

My answer is then effectively well it could be; since we essentially confirm our existence by copying it on other matter; literally anything that reproduces also itself in concept in nature through cycles and as abstract principles essentially should effectively also be "alive" in its own way too. In reverse too; everything we use to represent our aliveness that exists everywhere else in nature could also be producing forms of consciousness for one here on earth and for another somewhere else in the universe. Either as a literally localized collection of atoms or as in some view a abstract stitching together of spans of atoms vastly spatial separated by viewed in such a way that …

(Philosophy) Egyptian Magic and Theory of Computation

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This post is a philosophical one discussing the essential motives of the theories underpinning Egyptian magic and how it relates to our modernized concepts of computation.




Egyptians had the belief that things called "words of power"*1 existed.  People who knew these words of power invoked them to do crazy things apparently like parting water into blocks and stacking the blocks to search for things beneath the water; rejoining animals and man's heads when they had become detached from their bodies etc. But the essential concept was these collections of words that when said caused certain effects.

Essentially this means that using language you could invoke properties of the universe and use them like a mechanism to do you your bidding. This is sounds fantastical and mystical of course - we today know assumedly no such "words of power"; we cannot say things with our mouths that have any of the effects the Egyptians describe in their scrolls.

But we do have this al…

What is computation? An introduction for humans

It occurs to me that in this age ruled by computers many people do not know what computation is.

If you feel you know what makes a computer "compute" you must be able to describe it no? What renders a lifeless collection of transistors and voltages into a working all emulating computer? If you cannot answer then your entire understanding of computers is completely spiritual and religious in my view - an entire practice of assuming (its not wrong its just not provably correct)! A simple experiment I always play on my non-Computer Scientist friends (perhaps very cruelly lol) is to ask them how a computer manages to check if two numbers are equal? "How do you write or design a machine that computes equality? Does it just magically calculate it as equal? How does it "weight" the numbers? Well how does it know the weights are the same?"

This illusively counter intuitive question brings to light the very underpinning of all logic on computers: equality and of …